We all recognize a good friend when we see one. Good friends share, they look out for others, and they support us when we need it. No matter what our stage in life, we all need good friends to do these things for us. Business partnerships, including agent-broker arrangements, are a lot like friendships. Before you pick a freight broker, be sure to ask yourself if they do the sorts of things you’re used to seeing good friends do. In particular, watching for the following friendship-inspired behaviors can help agents make better decisions when establishing broker relationships.
Good Friends Always Share
Over the years, much has been made of the gross profit commission split between agents and brokers. Agents should only partner with brokers that provide a fair and generous percentage of the business they bring in. Agents should also inquire about what the brokerage provides for the percentage of the money it keeps. While this split isn’t the only consideration when forming a new partnership, it is a foundational matter that should be given careful consideration.
Good Friends are Supportive
Chances are, your best friends have always been there for you through thick and thin. Agents should ensure that their brokerage partners are going to offer them a similar level of support. Comprehensive back-office support and expertise can be a valuable resource to agents as they source and secure new business.
Good Friends are in it for the Long Haul
You know those friends that moved on as soon as they found something better? Some freight brokers are no better than those fair-weather friends. A good broker partner should express a long-term interest in agents by providing career and retirement planning services.
Good Friends Aren’t Selfish
A true friend doesn’t need to be the exclusive recipient of your friendship. So why do some brokerages make agents sign non-compete agreements? A good brokerage will allow agents to earn a healthy living by engaging with multiple partnerships and harnessing multiple revenue streams.
So, if you’re a freight agent looking to establish a partnership with a broker, be sure to give them the friend test first. Do they meet the criteria that you’ve always used to measure successful partnerships? Specifically, do they share commissions fairly, provide excellent office support, and give you the freedom that you need to advance your career? If not, break it off as soon as you can and look for a broker willing to treat you as a true partner.